A central challenge when restoring historic buildings is to decide what to save and when to turn the page. Preserve the essence of the past but also move forward. Better yet, do so while adding an element of surprise. Amid all the changes so far in the Mid-Market area, the revitalized Strand best strikes the balancing act between old and new, inside and out ... Again and again, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill used simple moves to make a strong impression. The historic bones have been amplified and energized by the uncluttered focus of the latest layer of change ... I could elaborate on the structural details. But focusing on the parts wouldn’t do justice to the whole, the calm power of the void. This is one of architecture’s beauties: the ability to conjure up sensations that can’t be defined or pinned down. It’s a facet that can’t be conveyed in photographs, or in renderings designed to look slick on a screen. But you feel it when you’re there.
SOM in the Press
Strand Theater: ACT’s Sublime Oasis on Market Street
Source: San Francisco Chronicle